Blige was featured in the period film Mudbound, for which she was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar, but she also earned another less conventional nomination alongside it. The star is additionally up for an Oscar for best original song with Mudbound's "Mighty River," and according to Essence, this marks the first time that a star has been up for a performance award and an original song award for the same movie in the same year.
In Mudbound, Blige plays Florence Jackson, a mother of four who deals with racist prejudice during the Jim Crow South. The actress and R&B icon dug deep to get into character.
"Shedding Mary J. Blige for Florence gave Mary J. Blige some confidence ... like a lot of it," Blige told Essence. "[On set] I could hear people whispering, 'She's so beautiful.' And I was like, 'Who the hell are they talking about?'"
Blige's work has given Mudbound two nominations, but the Academy has awarded the film an additional two nods on top of it. Rachel Morrison is nominated for best cinematography, which is another Academy first as Morrison becomes the first female nominee for that category ever.
Additionally, Mudbound is up for best adapted screenplay.
The Oscars takes place on March 4, 2018, and you can tune in on at 8 p.m. ET on ABC to see which movies take home awards.